Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz is a German artist known for his neo-expressionist paintings made with distinctive brushstrokes and often exposed upside down. His practice, which includes sculpture and printmaking, explores what it means to be a German artist in the post-war era and is characterized by bold colors, forceful brushstrokes, and the incorporation of folkloric or archetypal subjects. “I start with an idea, but as I work, the image takes over,” he said of his process. “Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived and the image that fights for its own life.”

Born Hans-Georg Kern on January 23, 1938 in Deutschbaselitz, Germany, Baselitz changed his name to his hometown in 1961. He considers Willem de Kooning an enduring source of inspiration since seeing his work as a student, citing also the influence of Philip Guston and Jackson Pollock. His provocative subject matter and outspokenness about culture and politics have sometimes made him a polarizing figure in the art world. In 2016, a comprehensive traveling exhibition “George Baselitz: The Heroes,” dedicated to the artist’s Hero series of paintings from 1965-1966, opened at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main. He currently lives and works in Munich, Germany. Today, Baseltiz’s works are included in the collections of the Guggenheim Bilbao, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London and the Berlinsche Galerie, among others.